7.0/10
93
1 user 7 critic

Yûkai Rhapsody (2010)

Hideyoshi Date (Katsunori Takahashi) is at his wits' end when we first meet him in. Deep in debt, with no job, no prospects, and no family, he's ready to end it all, and tries to do so, but... See full synopsis »

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shô Aikawa
Eiichirô Funakoshi
Roi Hayashi ... Densuke
Shûichirô Masuda ... (as Shuichiro Masuda)
Hideo Sakaki
Takashi Sasano
... Hideyoshi Date
Toshiyuki Watarai
Hiroshi Yamamoto
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Storyline

Hideyoshi Date (Katsunori Takahashi) is at his wits' end when we first meet him in. Deep in debt, with no job, no prospects, and no family, he's ready to end it all, and tries to do so, but he doesn't even have the nerve to commit suicide.

Wacky events are set in motion when Densuke (Roi Hayashi), a grade school boy, gets into Hideyoshi's cab and demands to be taken to his prep school. Hideyoshi at first tries to get rid of him, but when he learns that Densuke comes from a rich family, he seizes on the opportunity to get himself out of his financial hole. Recalling the advice of an old prison mate (Takashi Sasano), Hideyoshi hits upon the idea of demanding ransom from Densuke's parents.

Densuke is also on the run; he is impulsively running away from home because he hasn't been getting along with his parents lately. Complications ensue when Densuke's father turns out to be no ordinary business executive, but a yakuza boss (Sho Aikawa), who sends an army of underlings out to find Densuke ...

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Drama

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Release Date:

3 April 2010 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Accidental Kidnapper  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A charming gem
1 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is a gem of touching cinema. Despite the English translation of the title- Accidental Kidnapper' this is far from being a slapstick movie. Which is not to say that there is not plenty of comedy but it is the clever balance between drama and humor that sustains the story and allows for the character interaction to truly shine.

It is precisely the relationship between the main characters forms the core around which the movie builds itself as a charming tale of human bonds. This can only be achieved through topnotch acting and in this area the child actor needs be praised for his effortless interpretation of a lively little boy that does not veer into cliché. The duo of child and dispirited man turned kidnapper is not precisely a novel combination but it is tackled with fresh sensibility. The changes that these two undergo, and the repercussions on the boy's family, are gradual enough so not to seem forced. Both kidnapper and child grow closer throughout their adventure that is spiced with plenty of yakuza antics.

The secret to the success of this movie is the subtle approach to the formula. There are genuinely heart warming moments and breakthrough scenes of emotional important but these are played in an understated manner that works remarkably well. From the Kurosawa tribute in the 'High and Low'-like ransom delivery to the interludes of semi surrealism everything flows perfectly so that 'Accidental Kidnapper' does not so much switch gears from light hearted to serious as it flows between these two poles with seamless ease.

It is interesting to contrast how the same basic premise can be handled so differently: in terms the guiding plot lines this movie is very much like 'Sympathy for Mister Vengeance' and yet they could not possibly be more diametrically opposed. 'Accidental Kidnapper' stands on its own merits as a tale of redemption and of human bonds.


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